The album kicks in with a fantastic track “Walk the Line”, quietly and with a fast pace builds up til it suddenly kicks you in the face with a hard southern rock driving groove. This is only given more punch with Sky’s incredibly powerful, full bodied and almost gravelly vocals. The track works well between the fast pace and a slow down to accentuate the chorus. The drums and bass give it solid gravitas whilst the guitar work is sublime with some amazing solo work.
“Favourite Bitch” continues to show how this band deliver a professional slick delivery of sassy southern rock and blues. Well paced and full on rock laden riffs, again with an undertone of chunky bass and drums that just gives a solid pounding rhythm. Another headbanging track that just reminds you not to mess with Sky, cause she will kick your ass. But you’ll probably only enjoy it.
Next is “Southern Honey” is another chunky full blooded track that kicks in from the start before slowing way down as Sky’s vocals oozes that southern honey. The power of her voice is undeniable and fits perfectly with their rhythm and blues rock style.
The title track “When the Crow Flies” has a slow rhythm of blues foreboding as it slips into a chilled out Jack Daniels laden sit back and listen vibe. This is an exemplar of the southern rock blues style StoneWire are delivering. A fantastically beautiful track with the lead guitar having major twinges of Gary Moore. You just can’t stop moving in time.
Then comes “Don’t You”, a beautiful blues ballad showcasing a stunning range of emotionally loaded vocals. Its as gorgeously delivered as Bon Scott’s hair raising “Ride On”. The wailing guitars just puts the shine on this emotive track.
“Mama They’ll Never Know” really delivers that pure southern feel with great use of the slide guitar with a hint of Red Hot Chilli Peppers at the start. Then the drums and bass kick in as Sky delivers another incredible ten ton vocal performance.
Up next is “One Last Time” which provides your auditory senses with a swingier groove of slow dance proportions. It is full of an emotional weight that may remind you once again of the deep blues delivery of Gary Moore. It is laid back interspersed with a heavy groove, wailing guitars and Sky hitting the vocals up a gear.
Next is “River Blues” that has a bit of AC/DC feel, once again providing a hint of “Ride On” but on its own terms. A great blues rock track that rocks that cradle good with a catchy rhythm.
“Vamonos” is a good fast paced chunky track that will get you up of your seat and rocking round the house before you realise it. Once again all the parts from vocals, to drums to bass to rhythm and lead guitars slot in perfectly to deliver a great song that seems to remind you of a modernised old style blues infused metal.
With “Winters Hold” you get a solid song with Sky giving it her all as do the rest of the band with a rolling rhythm that will keep you hooked from start to finish. It is infused with 80s style metal but with an undeniable StoneWire take on it all.
The technically last track is “Fix You” that begins with an almost Black Sabbath blues laden feel about it overlaid with that incredible wailing guitar before it really kicks in with a no nonsense approach to producing a rocked up song.
Now comes a little spoiler alert, there is a bonus track that Stonewire slipped in at the end. It can only be described as an absolute jewel that caps off the whole hard rocking album. It is a mystically beautiful acoustic track that ties the whole album together as almost a summary of what you have just listened too. Sky’s amazing vocals are once more put to fantastic use with a softer approach but no less intense and emotion laden.
What can be said about “When the Crow Flies” is that it is a perfectly formed Southern Blues Rock album that is filled with layers, rhythm, superb harmonies, energy, and full on heavy grooves. It could almost leave you emotionally and physically drained by the end, but in a faultless cathartic way. You will listen to this album again and again. Definitely one for your collection.
StoneWire have crafted a sound that is both unique and yet reassuringly familiar. With influences spreading across many genres the blend of Rock, Blues, Country and Heavy Metal produce something that has been described as classic British Rock with a dirty Southern twist. They switch seamlessly from riff-laden rock to melodic anthems, underpinning it all with dynamic rhythms and exceptional vocals. This versatility has lead critics to compare StoneWire to contemporaries such as Black Stone Cherry, The Answer and more recently the Blues Pills.
Sky Hunter’s soaring rock vocals and gravely blues tones are integral to the StoneWire sound. This powerhouse of a front woman delivers an electrifying live performance and clearly shares a true connection with the audience. But StoneWire are not all about the front (wo)man. The emphasis is firmly on the word band, setting them apart from other female fronted groups. The bands core is centred on a mix of voice, music and an ever energetic, ever powerful, live performance. This is reflected in the loyalty of their growing fan base who are not mistaken when they say the band just have so much fun on stage.
A self-titled debut EP was released and the band reached new heights in 2013 supporting Michael Schenker on the Swedish leg of his Temple of Rock / Lovedrive Reunion tour. In fact they were so well received by the Scandinavian audience that a follow up tour is being planned. Further shows at many prestigious venues and festivals across the UK and in Europe saw StoneWire share the bill with bands such as Black Star Riders, Quireboys, King King and Bernie Marsden to name but a few.
In December 2014 StoneWire released their eagerly awaited debut album ‘When The Crow Flies’ on 22:11 Records to great critical acclaim. The album was produced by drummer Rob Glasner and mixed by Voodoo Six’s bassist Tony Newton. Also on board for the production was The Almighty/ex-Alice Cooper guitarist Pete Friesen who provided additional guitar throughout. Such is the strength of the album that almost every song has been gaining radio airtime up and down the country including on stations such as Nicky Horne’s The Classic Rock Magazine Show on Team Rock Radio, XFM Rock Show and on various HRH Radio shows.
StoneWire are now working on their 2nd studio album which will be released later in 2018. To show their fans what’s in store for the new album they have teamed up with MetalTalk.net and created StoneWire Sunday. With exclusive video snippets of new tracks, the writing and recording process and a unique glimpse behind the scenes of the band.
Sky Hunter – Vocals
Gaz Annable – Guitar
Duncan Greenway – Guitar
Steve Briggs – Bass
Rob Glasner – Drums
Review by Ivor Whitten, Happy Metal Geek